The best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to make certain that you get sufficient sleep. Follow the recommended instructions for your age group, which is 7 to 9 hours for most adults ages 18 to 64.
Other ways you can get back on track with a healthy sleep timetable consist of:
- controlling daytime naps (or avoiding them altogether)
- keeping off caffeine past noon
- going to bed at the same time each night
- waking up at the same time every morning
- sticking to your bedtime timetable during weekends and holidays
- spending an hour before bed doing relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath
- avoiding heavy meals two hours before bedtime
- stopping using electronic devices right before bed
- exercising regularly, but nothing the evening hours close to bedtime
If you still have problems sleeping at night and are fighting daytime fatigue, talk to your doctor. They can test for underlying health conditions that might be getting in the way of your sleep timetable.
Treatment for sleep deprivation
The most basic form of sleep deprivation treatment is getting more sleep.
This is often easier said than done, especially if you’ve been deprived of precious shut-eye for several weeks or longer. After this point, you may need help from your doctor or a sleep specialist who, if needed, can diagnose and treat a possible sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders can make it difficult to get quality sleep at night. They can also increase your risk for the above effects of sleep deprivation on the body.
The following are the most common types of sleep disorders:
- sleep apnea
- restless leg syndrome
- movement disorders
To diagnose these conditions, your doctor may order a sleep study. This is traditionally conducted at a formal sleep center, but now there are options to measure your sleep quality at home, too.
If you’re diagnosed with a sleep disorder, you may be given medication or a device to keep your airways open at night (in the case of sleep apnea) to help combat the symptoms so you can get a better night’s sleep on a regular basis.